Top 10 Must Sees
Check out the best 10 things to see and do in Winnipeg - no trip is complete without them.
Designed by architect extraordinaire Antione Predock, Canada’s newest, most eye-catching attraction dominates the Winnipeg skyline, shining like a beacon. Inside an immersive experience that you can’t possibly shake awaits as 11 powerful, interactive and awe-inspiring exhibits gradually climb to the CMHR’s pinnacle, the Tower of Hope (which provides a stunning view of the city). An ambitious museum meant to foster dialogue and promote change for a better world, the CMHR provides a stirring account of the human experience unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed.
With the possible exception of seals, everybody loves polar bears — that’s why they are the main attraction at the sensational new Journey to Churchill exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo. Watching these majestic mammals dive, swim, and frolic above you through the exhibit’s glass dome will take your breath away, while the vast new terrain also features an incredible selection of animals, like muskox, wolves, moose, and seals. The zoo also features uber-rare animals, like red pandas and snow leopards, along with over 200 other species.
Saturated in 6,000 years of history, the meeting of the Red and Assiniboine rivers has always been a gathering place for peoples. Across 54 beautiful acres you’ll find a bustling central market, exceptional dining and accommodations, vast treelined paths overlooking all the bends in the riverbank, a world-class skate park, a children’s play area and water park, and all the best things a Winnipeg winter has to offer, like skate rentals and access to one of the world’s longest skating rinks. It also bridges, via the sexy Esplanade Riel, the très-European St. Boniface — with its restaurants, cafés, artistic heir and francophone flavour — and the downtown core.
Dan Brown would be at a loss trying to decipher all the meaning enlaced in Canada’s finest provincial legislative building. The grandiose interior of this ode to Olympus is studded with hieroglyphics, freemasonic symbols and numeric codes, all of which are unveiled in the Hermetic Code Tour — a must for anyone with a sense of intrigue. On the top of the building is Winnipeg’s most beloved citizen: the beaming Golden Boy, our nod to Hermes who was crafted in Paris and holds a sheath of wheat.
How many places do you know that can take you from the towering dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period, to across the cosmos through space and time, to the buffalo-laden prairie plains all under one roof? If your answer is none, then you haven’t been to The Manitoba Museum. The nine permanent galleries in this award-winning heritage and edu-tainment centre will enthrall kids and adults alike. Whether you are catching a Planetarium show featuring one of the world’s most advanced projection systems, or viewing some of Canada’s most important historical artifacts in the Hudson’s Bay Company Museum Collection, The Manitoba Museum is sure to please.
Architecturally striking and centrally located in the heart of downtown, the WAG houses an internationally acclaimed collection (with exhibitions having been shown from New York, to Barcelona, to Tokyo) of nearly 24,000 works featuring a great deal of Canadian and Manitoba-centric pieces, including the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art. Critically acclaimed touring shows are also constantly brought in, featuring everything from the Renaissance to Dadaism, to Ancient Greece and the best in contemporary photography.
Six hundred-forty acres of pristine prairie beauty are waiting to welcome you in this oasis just south of the city. In summer, feel the wind in your hair canoeing or sailing on one of FortWhyte’s several lakes. In fall, sip a locally brewed beer on their restaurant patio while witnessing North America’s largest animal (the bison) roam in its natural habitat as migrating birds fill the sky. In winter, go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on its many trails or take the kids out for a ridiculously fun day of sliding on the Richardson Rrrun Toboggan slide. No matter what the season, there is always an adventure to be had at FortWhyte Alive.
One of Canada’s architectural marvels, this 30-block district boasts North America’s most extensive (and handsome!) turnof-the-20th-century buildings. While walking its charming streets, you’ll find some of the city’s trendiest and tastiest spots including small plate restaurants and bistros, who flaunt their exposed brick and beam; up-and-coming and established galleries; vintage and antique shops, and some of the best the city has to offer in coffee and café culture.
One of Winnipeg’s most beautiful buildings, its reflective glassy exterior is a sight to behold at sundown, glowing under an orange prairie sky. On the inside you’ll find guided tours that will have you holding a $600,000 gold bar (it’s really quite heavy), ogling over the Olympic gold medals that were made for Vancouver 2010, and witnessing coins being produced for over 70 different countries. A trip to the Mint is surely worth every penny.
The newest jewel in Winnipeg’s luxuriant-spa crown, Thermëa brings a bit of Scandinavia to the heart of the Canada. Let the stress soak out of you in thermal pools situated amongst the pines; indulge your senses in Finnish saunas; treat yourself to the best in body treatments and massage therapy. Then, finish your day with some exquisite dining because hey, you are worth it.